The Electric Guitar Show

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The electric guitar: symbol of rebellion, youth and danger or legitimate color to be used in serious composition? Perhaps it's both. This week's episode of The Brothers Balliett takes a critical look at the myriad ways this hundred-year-old instrument is used in today's new-music landscape.

Roger Kleier is a composer/guitarist known for his loops and massed electric guitar textures. We offer his Anyway..., a beautifully atmospheric work for an electric guitar ensemble. Steve Mackey is also known for his association with the electric guitar – his Tuck and Roll is cast in a more traditional concerto form, but notice how the tradition seems reinvented when the soloist is a soaring electric guitar!

We wrap up with the already classic Electric Counterpoint of Steve Reich performed with great precision by Pat Metheny—another work for electric guitar ensemble, but with a totally different flavor.

This week's Brothers Balliett radio world premiere is a fanfare from New York-based composer Elliot Cole.